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Google Updates and SERP Changes - June 2019

     
4:35 pm on Jun 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The following message was cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4944194.htm [webmasterworld.com] by robert_charlton - 11:00 am on Jun 1, 2019 - (PDT -8)


Also, with the ad model a majority of people know that you are trying to get something out of them - a purchase, a signup etc - so there is a lesser level of trust there but if they find you through organic whilst they are in the research stage and you provide good info and value, then there is trust built and you get more sales.

On the other hand, people who are actively shopping for a product or service may regard ads as useful information. That was the concept behind Yellow Pages directories and magazines like Computer Shopper.



[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 7:07 pm (utc) on Jun 1, 2019]
[edit reason] Cleanup after thread split to new thread [/edit]

12:03 pm on June 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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poeple with no idea of SEO

"May be", it results in pages looking more natural. "May be" Google (now) prefers pages which are done as the publisher was feeling to do it, against pages made for the purpose of pleasing Google and optimizing ranking.

I can speak only about myself, but I always did pages the way I wanted, without minding about SEO. So far it works, may be tomorrow I'll get zero traffic, but at least I did have pleasure doing it.
12:57 pm on June 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Dimitri,

this is not what i meant: pleasing google.
Canonical tag is for SEs to give them a hint that pages with nearly same content to show only the "summary pages" in serps. This has nothing to do with feeling or pleasing google but with "nearly duplicate" content. Are you realy as a user interested in google showing you 10 pages with nealy same content?!
1:16 pm on June 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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so after losses of around 30-40% after this update and basically just strange conversions traffic were by I got nothing all day then a burst period of 1.5 to 2 hours with conversions each day, yesterday returned to what seemed like pre update levels for me with steady traffic throughout the day mostly and a return of the 30-40% I lost. Conversions werent great totals wise but they seemed more "normal" being spread out. Today traffic and conversions seemed to be like yesterday so far,
To anyone asking about "rollbacks" , there is no way this is a rollback and I don't think google even does rollbacks, but more like tweaks and adjustments on a regular basis. I would guess it is more likely just that things are settling down a bit , the AI has been doing its processing and things might be a bit less volatile. It wont last of course, the will do something else within weeks be it a tweak, an update or some dev breaks something that sends us all banging our heads against the monitor once more.
1:19 pm on June 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@samsseo we've seen a massive hit, but it was coming off a huge spike in growth so currently we are slightly ahead of where we were in march. In all honesty, I'm not seeing 'spam' rise to the top. More that i'm seeing the big brands with huge back link profiles climb to the top. Domains dominate in our industry, not pages - so there are plenty of instances where companies that specialise in a particular product lose out to bigger brands with more authoritative root domains. Single landing pages with some citations (or links follow/nofollow) just dont seem to cut the mustard anymore, unless you have the powerful root domain to back it up. The result is that every vertical in our industry contains the same players. Thers no diversity anymore, which is especially comical, seen as they have tried to address that on a query to query basis, and in the process, made every different query nearly the same. My other main gripe is that its clear onsite doesnt count for as much anymore. technical SEO seems to hold very little weight in our industry. If you have a slow site, riddled with basic house keeping errors, but loads of root links and an established name, you'll be fine.
1:46 pm on June 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Are you realy as a user interested in google showing you 10 pages with nealy same content?!

[webmasterworld.com...]

Edit: also, from what I understood from all the readings, Google seems to favor precise content, event if they are short. So it sounds that, "now", Google prefers one page for each color of widget, than a single page, with all the colors listed.
1:54 pm on June 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@BushyTop I would agree big backlink profiles are what are boosting domains in my niche. I have done a few sites over the last few months with similar techniques to stay afloat.

What I find ridiculous besides getting the same results for different queries is why they bother with the related questions box, all it does is send you around in circles with the same results, I guess the average user isn't smart enough to know any better.
1:57 pm on June 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@southernguy good call on the related queries. Suppose it makes this update all the more comical.
3:32 pm on June 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Here we go again with yet another SEMRush user. Still can't believe people still take SEMRush seriously. If SEMRush was good then there won't be webmasters here who use it but still lost their traffic.


SEMrush has quickly become much less relevant. They need to update their tracking to show the effect of the amount of content Google is throwing on the page, which has changed dramatically. I'm ranked top three for 30% more terms than I was three weeks ago, so why has my traffic fallen since then? Ranking and traffic are no longer strongly correlated. Google is destroying the value of organic search so that we all stop trying, give up, and pay. SEMrush needs a massive overhaul to reflect this reality. Also, some of their recommendations for on page changes are just crap, and might do damage to your rankings. Their link building suggestions are a joke. Sure, I'll write to the NY Times to publish an article about me and link to my site!
3:57 pm on June 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Sure, I'll write to the NY Times to publish an article about me and link to my site!

:)

Joke a part, 3 times (over 15 years, so it's not a big deal), The NY Times had included a link to a page of my site, and there was a wow-effect, not really in ranking, but thousands of extra visitors to these pages. But still for immediate big traffic the best is still a link dropped at Reedit :)
4:33 pm on June 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Heh, just noticed that the theme/plugin update glitch removed business address from the contact us page on 29th May. Wondering if that made things worse.
5:34 pm on June 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Google: "Dance, little people. Oh, and just build great content, then everything will be fine."

It is what an actual monopoly looks like. If some other company treated me like this (I know, I know, no comparison, stop whining, etc.), I would be gone in no time. But Google is not some other company: in terms of power it's practically a government. So instead, I go online to complain to fellow sufferers. What a sad state of affairs we are in :-(

If only I could be a fly on the walls of the Google offices. I would love to know what they say about all this when they are among themselves.

Ok, end of rant, back to work!
5:54 pm on June 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I haven't been on here in a long time and just popped in to see what's changed after reading about a Google core update on some other site and a site CCN having to shutdown because of lost traffic. I've seen this many times over the years.

If you build a business based on free traffic from Google, you are a business built on quicksand. It's not Google's fault you went out of business, it's your fault for not having a sound business plan. Back in the day of the monthly dance, the same thing used to happen all the time.

Google pushes out updates, sites fall, site rise. That's the way it's always been and I suspect will continue to be that way until Google is no more if that ever becomes the case in our lifetime.
6:00 pm on June 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Sharp overall 70% drop versus previous seven days back :(
6:22 pm on June 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I haven't been in this game as long as many of you but many previous updates that destroyed businesses were based on things that were fixable and related to well-known updates such as Panda, Penguin, hummingbird, etc. I mean, it was clear that some sites had these issues and it was their downfall.. but they could recover.

With these Core Updates, it seems very different. I believe JM and others at Google say that there is "nothing to fix". All we have to do is keep making great content. But these "great content" have been up and down the SERPs like a yo-yo since August 2018. For a few months, it ranks number 1. And then a new core update it gets thrown to page 13 on Google. Then it goes back to number one, and so on.

I don't believe such a drop is warranted or necessary in many cases. How does it go from being so good, to so terribly awful that over a 100 articles rank above you that barely even talk about the subject?

If only big brands and companies with very high authority can compete, how does the little blogger ever "make it" anymore? When even the low competition keywords are all taken. At least, you could (in the past) fill in the gaps, target questions that aren't properly answered on the web, and build up from there. Focused tightly on a niche, long tail content, until you were able to compete with the big boys for higher comp keywords. But now, you can't even do that, because far less relevant articles show up higher in the SERPs based on trust and authority alone.
6:44 pm on June 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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If you build a business based on free traffic from Google, you are a business built on quicksand. It's not Google's fault you went out of business, it's your fault for not having a sound business plan. Back in the day of the monthly dance, the same thing used to happen all the time.


nonsense.

Such statements are naive. The world has changed in such a way that many niches can now only operate/survive online.

Many of these businesses may have started out with traditional businesses, then moved to online more and more as this change happened as they had no choice until they were completely reliant on online sales as that is where the market had moved to.

The internet is so embedded in all our daily lives now it is basically a utility service.

Google controls that utility more than any other utility has been controlled before with a global monopoly.

Paid ads do not work with every business and product. Also, if cases where they do, many businesses are simply out priced by the big brands now.

Lets say your business years ago and it relied on having a water supply. With water being a utility you could reasonably enough assume that the water supply would always be a constant. Then all of a sudden the water supply becomes unreliable , sometimes cut off completely. You find out this is because the water company is limiting the water you get and ensuring they themselves get more of it. They are also starting to sell the very products you sell and can do because they have a constant water supply.

This is basically the situation. Google has been allowed to become the monopoly that controls where online attention goes and they have a free rein to do with it as they please.

Anyone that says that google doesn't owe us anything because it is a free service is looking at things from a 90s perspective when the internet was not ubiquitous and intrinsic to everything we do. Yes , google doesn't owe us anything BUT no single company should be allowed to control the internet to that degree.
Would you be as complicit if the the water company suddenly decided to cut you off, not tell you why or how to get your supply turned back on but offer you the chance to bid against massive global companies for expensive spurts of water.
7:10 pm on June 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I've had my same business now since June of 99. If being "naive" is what has made it successful, then I'm OK with being "naive".

Read through some of early archives of early 2000 Google dances. This same thing happened then with the same responses and here we are 15 years later and nothing has changed other than Google has become bigger than ever.
7:21 pm on June 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Milchan I going to play devil's advocate.
Having your site appear at the top of search results is not like your water supply. You do not have a fundamental right to appear in the SERPs, just like you do not have a fundamental right to have store front on the street, or in a mall, with the most foot traffic. You pay for that right and the price you pay is set by the market conditions. There are significant barriers to entry to having a brick and mortar store, being able to afford rent is one of them. Thus far, the barriers to entry have been low to non-existent on the web, any idiot can and many do, create a website and start selling stuff, from products to ad space. Google, in a very cunning manner created the illusion that anyone could get rich doing this. In the early days, it was possible to print free money. With no barriers to entry and high profits the result is increasing competition, this is exactly what has occurred over the past twenty years. This is basic economics.

With the increase in competition the market changes, now there are barriers to entry. You need capital for marketing, to advertise and grow an audience outside of organic search. Without
this, one will remain irrelevant. If your product or service can't support the cost of advertising, then your out of luck. Your business plan is no longer viable. Just as trying to sell widgets out of the trunk of your car is not viable. The quality, grade, or price of the widget is irrelevant the only thing that matters is that there is sufficient sales volume and margin to sustain a business.

The web has been transformed from a medium that could characterized as "build and they will come" where anyone who could install a word press plug-in could thrive, to a place of cut-throat business where even the established businesses and websites need to fight for their survival.
7:23 pm on June 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@mrguy I've been online since 2003 and posting here that long. I partially agree that we should all diversify if we can. But most of us are online businesses and it's not that easy to diversify away from search. Most other platforms like social media are equally rigged now... Its pay to play and the budgets required to compete with corporations are not possible for independent small business. The updates from 15 years ago were nothing like today's updates. They were designed to weed out poor quality and spammers. Today they are designed to destroy the value of organic search, wear down the small business and force us to pay or go extinct. Google is killing off exactly what it promised it would always maintain as sacrosanct... The impartiality of organic search. It's all poppycock now. Google is a monopoly in fierce competition with other behemoths for market share and profit. We are all getting stepped on and flattened as the collateral damage in that battle. That's all there is to it.

By the way, I opened a physical retail space and am paying a fortune to other platforms to find new clients. So far not great results... Im spending a lot more and my profit is much lower than when organic search brought in real business. It's been some time since Google search brought in healthy, unimpeded traffic that Google didn't manipulate the flow of 24/7.
7:56 pm on June 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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After reading that the update was finished rolling out on Friday I went and looked at the results for my sites. I am a one-man operation, No shady backlinking strategies. I have just focused on great on-page keyword related SEO and using TF-IDF analysis, targeted long-tail keywords (under 500 search volume per month), along with user experience analysis to keep my bounce rate low and my page views and conversions high. Here is the result.

Site A. Affiliate Niche Site up 26%
Site B. Affiliate General Site up 25%
Site C. Informational Niche Site up 39%
8:05 pm on June 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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If you build a business based on your naive expectation of getting access to electricity or clean water, you don't have a real business.
8:35 pm on June 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I am by no means a lover of Google. In 2008 Google wiped out a very successful affiliate business I had built over the years that was earning in excess of a $1000. Things were great until the faithful day I logged on and none of my sites showed up. These were not thin affiliate sites, they all had rich content and provided value to the visitor and had taken years to develop. Their only crime was they had affiliate links. Just like that overnight my earnings went to ZERO and then came the financial collapse. 2008 was a very bleak year.
So, I do understand and feel for those who lost traffic. Believe me I know it is a horrible feeling.

It was after that I went back to my roots of building websites for clients and decided I was not going to let Google dictate the direction of my business. These days, when a client wantís SEO I make them sign a contract that states there are no guarantees. Although, I focus more on local SEO since it is easier for me to get solid results.

Most clients I meet with now understand that they need a plan in addition to Google. For competitive terms on mobile devices the organic results are 3 swipes away from being seen so your chance of getting a click are lower especially if itís a local type search. Most users will click the local pack first.

I hate that Google is the monopoly it is. Bing is barely hanging on and Yahoo is pretty much dead. All the people I told about Google in the early days I wish I could take it back. They got so big all from word of mouth from webmasters like all of us. If only we hand known the monster that was being unleashed.

I donít bother with the boards anymore and only popped in here after reading an article on reddit about the ccn company and wanted to see what was going.

I do wish everybody the best in the future.

Peace out.
8:36 pm on June 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I am by no means a lover of Google. In 2008 Google wiped out a very successful affiliate business I had built over the years that was earning in excess of a $1000 a day. Things were great until the faithful day I logged on and none of my sites showed up. These were not thin affiliate sites, they all had rich content and provided value to the visitor and had taken years to develop. Their only crime was they had affiliate links. Just like that overnight my earnings went to ZERO and then came the financial collapse. 2008 was a very bleak year.
So, I do understand and feel for those who lost traffic. Believe me I know it is a horrible feeling.

It was after that I went back to my roots of building websites for clients and decided I was not going to let Google dictate the direction of my business. These days, when a client wantís SEO I make them sign a contract that states there are no guarantees. Although, I focus more on local SEO since it is easier for me to get solid results.

Most clients I meet with now understand that they need a plan in addition to Google. For competitive terms on mobile devices the organic results are 3 swipes away from being seen so your chance of getting a click are lower especially if itís a local type search. Most users will click the local pack first.

I hate that Google is the monopoly it is. Bing is barely hanging on and Yahoo is pretty much dead. All the people I told about Google in the early days I wish I could take it back. They got so big all from word of mouth from webmasters like all of us. If only we hand known the monster that was being unleashed.

I donít bother with the boards anymore and only popped in here after reading an article on reddit about the ccn company and wanted to see what was going.

I do wish everybody the best in the future.

Peace out.
9:43 pm on June 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Those impacted by June 2019 update have aggresive ad placements? I have one ad pushing content below the fold on mobile and 'download now' green ads on desktop.
9:46 pm on June 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Coming in with my experience on this update. This particular USA client is a large ecommerce health site. It was murdered during the medic update, and we were brought on board to fix it. Before medic, it was getting 10k organic a day, fell to 400 a day. We focused heavily on E-A-T and content optimization. Up until this update hit, we were rebounding to 2-3k a day. Within a day, it's back to 400 organic daily, murdering us again.

This client has a strong backlink profile, mostly natural backlinks from extremely high DA websites, such as Forbes, CNN, etc. When you search the base keyword for our niche, the first 2 results are now Walgreens, Rite-Aid, big businesses. The weird part is that the page ranking on the SERPs now is an irrelevant product page. I cannot find Google's reasoning for this. I think the diversification update, with only having a max of 2 domains hurt us severely, because now Walgreens has 2 top page links, followed by 2 for Rite-Aid. Other keywords we were ranking for #1 for specific products have dropped off the 1st and even 2nd page (now mostly non-related product info-based domains are ranking, like WebMD or health.com.

Anyways, this client is in crisis mode. I checked on another ecommerce USA client, this time in the firearms niche, actually had a positive reaction and went up to 10k organic daily clicks (from 8k). Just thought I'd share.
10:14 pm on June 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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koolkake, welcome to WebmasterWorld. I think a clue to your problem might be in your description of your client's backlink profile...

my emphasis added...
This client has a strong backlink profile, mostly natural backlinks from extremely high DA websites, such as Forbes, CNN, etc

MOZ's old Domain Authority was a flawed metric, and optimizing to a high DA used techniques that to Google may well have been seen as obviouslyl manipulative. See this discussion...

Moz Domain Authority 2.0 Update on 5 Mar 2019
https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4937759.htm [webmasterworld.com]

10:32 pm on June 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Robert, thanks for your reply and thanks for the welcome. You're right, I need to get out of the habit of describing sites with DA/PA metrics- it's an old but bad habit. The best way to describe this particular client's BL profile is plenty of contextual, natural dofollows from high authority websites. The CEO of the company is a marketing pro and is always snagging web interviews with authority websites, in and outside the niche. Which is why I am downplaying that there are any issues with the BL profile, especially in comparison with competitors (of course, aside from Walgreens, Rite-Aid, etc).

Again, thanks for your response.
11:22 pm on June 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The best way to describe this particular client's BL profile is plenty of contextual, natural dofollows from high authority websites. The CEO of the company is a marketing pro and is always snagging web interviews with authority websites, in and outside the niche.

They aren't "natural" backlinks if they are obtained by "snagging web interviews"
3:46 am on June 12, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Noticed more of a change in May then so far in June.

Of course we may be slightly delayed here in AU.
7:24 am on June 12, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Any noticing any signs of this update slowing up. We're still seeing loads of changes.
8:22 am on June 12, 2019 (gmt 0)

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My website has been hit again... from what I see in GSC, I am losing everything I recovered in early March. As usual, my website (blog - e-commerce) is updated weekly with new content (both articles and new digital products). I do still get conversions because customers really like my content.

So unfortunate that Google decided once again to take away the traffic from my site, I have so many competitors with spammy WIX websites and shady SEO tricks, so sad to see their huge growth on SEM Rush.

I'd really like to back focusing on delivering good content rather than getting depressed about this.
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